Turkey – Cappadocia

I was told that the name, ‘Cappadocia‘, had come down from the Persian, ‘Kappadokya’, which roughly translates to ‘Land of the beautiful horses.’  That sounded like a wonderful explanation as to how this mesmerizing and surreal land in the heart of Turkey got its name.

Geology is the story here and it’s long drawn visitors and religious pilgrims alike.  Studded with fantastically shaped rock formations the locals call ‘fairy chimneys,’ Cappadocia bedazzles the eye. But the crazy geology is only half the story. For thousands of years, people have used these rocks as dwellings. If a cave wasn’t large enough, they carved it deeper, adding vast chambers for dining, cooking, wine-making, and worship.  

During Byzantine times, early Christians carved out astonishing churches in these caves and adorned them with frescoes depicting the story of Christianity according to their Orthodox beliefs.

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Cappadocia 2    Cappadocia 3     Cappadocia frescoes/Agia Sofia mosaics